Chainflex Continuous-Flex Cables Provide Power on the Moon, Europa, for Students Competing in the MATE ROV Competition


Students from Miami Dade College use Chainflex on remotely operated vehicle in fourth annual event

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. - November 15, 2005 - Igus® Inc., the leading developer of Energy Chain Systems®, Chainflex continuous-flex cables and iglide® plastic bearings, announced today that students from Miami Dade College in Florida used Chainflex continuous-flex cables on their remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the 2005 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV Competition held this past June.

The team, comprised of six students, had the opportunity to develop important skills needed for a future in marine technology by competing in the fourth annual event. MATE ROV challenges students to build an ROV that enables the operator to man the robot in a comfortable, safe environment, while the ROV works in the hazardous waters below.

The 2005 theme, Mission to Europa, provided the students with four challenges to complete in an icy ocean on the surface of Europa, one of the six known moons to orbit the planet Jupiter. The challenge was simulated in a pool at the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory within the NASA Johnson Space Center .

An umbilical cord that runs from the ROV to the operating station is one of the most vital parts of the robot. The cord is responsible for carrying the power, command and control signals to the vehicle and the status and sensory data back to the operator. While looking for a cable to perform this critical function, the Miami Dade team came across igus Inc., an official product sponsor of MATE ROV, and the company's extensive line of Chainflex continuous-flex cables.

Through igus' Y.E.S (Young Engineers Support) Program, which donates products to various student-engineering projects, competitions and curriculums, the team received a free supply of Chainflex CF31, a power and control cable, and Chainflex Air, a pneumatic hose, for its ROV. Both igus cables are oil-resistant, flame-retardant and possess high flexural strength.

The students used the CF31 and the Chainflex Air as the main tether of their vehicle to provide power to four trolling motors and four underwater cameras. The pair of cables was used specifically for the team's third task of the competition - collecting a sample of red fluid from a crevice on the pool-simulated underwater floor.

The Chainflex cables worked well for students, according to their instructional technologist, Haniel Pulido Jr.

"Igus' products were essential to our success. The flexibility of the power cable provided for easy tether management during the competition and throughout our practice sessions," said Pulido.

The flexibility of the Chainflex cables also gave the team an additional edge.

"We also used the flexibility of the 10-gage cables to minimize voltage drop across the 100-foot length of the tether," Pulido added.

The Miami Dade team placed seventh overall at the 2005 MATE ROV Competition out of a total of 16 Explorer-level teams. Explorer is the more challenging of the two divisions.

The students are looking forward to next year's competition and using more donated products offered by igus though its Y.E.S. Program. To learn more about the Miami Dade ROV team, please visit mdc.edu/kendall/title5/events_rov_2005natl.asp. To learn about the MATE Center , or about how to get involved in future MATE ROV Competitions, please visit http://www.marinetech.org/rov_competition/.

To become a part of the Y.E.S. Program, contact Courtney Toomey, Y.E.S. Program Administrator at (800) 521-2747 or via e-mail at ctoomey@igus.com. Also visit www.igus.com/yesprogram for details about Y.E.S.

About igus
Igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems. With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide. Product lines include Energy Chain Systems to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex continuous-flex cables, iglide self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin ® linear guide systems and igubal ® spherical bearings. For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.

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